A phrase in an interview with artist Karen Parker Lears jumped off the page at me the other day (The Hedgehog Review, Summer, 2010).
Ms. Lears is an abstract artist whose latest work features a series of meditations designed to encourage reflection on suffering. Her work is rather too difficult to describe, and I can't say that I found the photographs accompanying this interview all that helpful or interesting.
But Ms. Lears stated concerning her works, "I gave them titles that would resonate with the assemblage on canvas to disorient the viewer and encourage being still, searching for meanings." Something about those words "being still, searching for meanings", arrested my attention.
Ours is an age not especially friendly to such pursuits. Things happen so fast; there are so many distractions; and now personal communications and social networking have made it increasingly difficult to find time for ourselves. The idea of "being still" so that we might discover some "meanings" to life in a work of art sounds almost like a joke.
The pace and noise of our day makes a mockery of being still for anything - especially for knowing God and contemplating His sovereignty over the world (Ps. 46.10). Many Christians have allowed themselves to become so caught up in the current of the world that their ability to know the presence of God and to contemplate His power over all things is seriously impaired.
I doubt many people will take the time to be still over Ms. Lears' art, as thoughtful and provocative as it is. Being still and knowing the Lord is an even less likely prospect - unless, of course, those whose lives should be characterized by those words should begin actually to practice them more consistently.
T. M. Moore
On Being Still
- T.M. Moore
- July 23, 2010
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore